I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
A while back, I had a conversation about visual novels in the comments area of a BookLikes review (one of Rose's, although I cannot find the darn thing). I mentioned that I'd played a few and had considered reviewing them. Well, I've written my first review, if anyone's interested. I'm hoping my next one will go a little more smoothly - this one was kind of a pain to write.
I don't know that this is strictly a visual novel, what with the activity choices and protagonist's stats, but that seems like the best thing to call it. It's primarily a romance, but has some slight mystery aspects.
The basics: The game is free and has Windows, Mac, and Linux downloads available. You play as Merui, a girl trying to figure out the real-life identity of Alistair, an online game player who behaved like a jerk towards her. The player turns it into a bet, giving Merui a month to figure everything out. There are three possible Alistair candidates, which also means three possible candidates for romance. Because.
I wouldn't be opposed to posting the whole review on BookLikes, but it didn't feel quite right, since it's not a book. However, I'm doing a happy dance right now because I can still give it a rating on BookLikes. Three stars for "eh, it's okay"!